Rural Fire Bulletin has been given the bullet

Tuesday, 12 Jun 2018

We need your ideas on how to keep it and get it into the hands of brigade volunteers.

Tomorrow (Wednesday 13/06) the RFBAQ has a meeting to try and save the Rural Fire Bulletin magazine.

After zero consultation the RFBAQ received an email forwarded on by a RFSQ staff member advising that the Bulletin was to be axed in favour of a monthly SES/RFS QFES newsletter that is only available as an email, and you will only receive it if you subscribe.

RFSQ paid staff and the RFBAQ had no input or notification that the Bulletin was in danger; let alone getting the chop. The email was sent after business hours last night.

For those who remember the Bulletin as a hard copy magazine, you will remember the enjoyment of reading a state produced publication that had information about brigade volunteers and was for brigade volunteers. This then (without consulting with anyone) turned into an online magazine that saw readership steadily decline, as to access the magazine you needed to go to the RFSQ website, then link through to the volunteer portal and then access the magazine tab.

Here is what we want to do at tomorrows’ meeting with the Chief Officer of the Rural Fire Service, Mike Wassing. We want to keep the Bulletin and work towards a way of ensuring that it actually reaches brigades and volunteers.

It can involve going back to a printed version, but if that happens, how do we get it into brigades as some secretaries do not table magazines at brigade meetings. Should it only be by subscription and only as a digital version? Do brigades and volunteers actually care about the Bulletin anymore?

Email your ideas into support@rfbaq.org

Today some SES volunteers realised that Rural Fire Brigades still have a state produced magazine, which is something that they lost many years ago, and not only have made comment online that Rural Fire should keep the Bulletin, but that they want their old magazine resurrected.

Dealing with, informing and supporting brigade volunteers is different to dealing with paid staff. And the manner in which you contact them and keep them engaged cannot be a ‘one size fits all’.

What has happened to the Bulletin magazine is directly in conflict with the Volunteerism Strategy that the ‘One QFES’ has just approved. It is also against the Volunteer Charter.

The current magazine which QFES produces is called the ‘Response Magazine’. Do any brigades receive this magazine or any other fire related state produced magazines anymore?

Email your ideas into support@rfbaq.org

 

Here is the email that went out to RFSQ staff late yesterday afternoon.

From: William Johnson
Sent: Monday, June 11, 2018 16:32
Subject: Rural Fire Service Bulletin - Last Edition

Good Afternoon

29 years ago, in July 1989, the Rural Fires Bulletin was introduced to replace the previous Rural Fire Newsletter. Over the years, the Bulletin has had many faces, moving from a newsletter, to a glossy magazine then to the electronic version you know today.

Now, the evolution will continue.

The upcoming June edition of the Rural Fire Bulletin will be the last we produce. I am pleased to announce that starting in June 2018, volunteers will now have access to the ‘QFES Volunteer Update’ Newsletter, which will provide updates on all aspects of volunteering and volunteerism within QFES as well as service specific information for both the Rural Fire Service (RFS) and the State Emergency Service (SES)

The new QFES Volunteer Update will be provided in electronic format only and will be distributed by subscription every month.  The new monthly publication will be shorter however will allow us to provide more relevant and timely information directly to the volunteers.  Each month we will call for articles from RFS staff via an email, and each newsletter edition will showcase three or four smaller articles from RFS.

We are in the process of finalising the last edition of the Bulletin Magazine, which will communicate the changes to volunteers.  This information will also be included on the Volunteer Portal and we would appreciate you assisting us with communicating the message.

The first Newsletter will be sent to all RFS volunteer email addresses we have in the database, they will then have the option to unsubscribe if they do not want to continue to receive the communication.  Volunteers can subscribe to the newsletter at any time by simply emailing their name, brigade and email address toruralfire.servicequeensland@qfes.qld.gov.au.

We appreciate the ongoing support and contribution all staff have made to the Bulletin in the last 29 years.  It has been a significant communication tool for RFS and has always been well received.  We understand this will be a significant change for some of our volunteers and we will continue to work with staff and volunteers to ensure meet their communication needs into the future.
 
Thank you
Bill

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